Strong January car sales at’s U.S. dealerships could signal an early spring for the Detroit auto maker.
recorded 100,612 deliveries, 28.7% of which were cars. The last time the pentastar company saw such a data skew was April 2011, when the split was 31:69, car vs. light truck.
Such ratios are consistent with springtime demand, according to WardsAuto data.
“We started the new year with a bang,” Reid Bigland, U.S. sales chief and Dodge-brand president and CEO, says today in a statement.
The Chrysler 200 midsize car accounted for 7,007 sales in January, more than eight times the total recorded in prior-year. The April 2011 car surge largely was driven by increased demand for the 200, which Chrysler attributed to its milestone Super Bowl ad featuring Detroit rapper Eminem.
The auto maker is mum about its plans for Sunday’s Super Bowl, but CEO Sergio Marchionne already has cautioned the curious not to expect another historic event. Last year’s commercial was the first-ever 2-minute spot aired during the annual game.
Meanwhile, the 4,960 Chrysler 300s delivered last month were nearly triple the model’s year-over-year tally.
The Chrysler cars’ Dodge platform-mates, the Avenger and Charger, respectively, also enjoyed solid demand in January. Dealers logged more than 5,000 sales of each, a 145.9% jump for the Avenger and a 168.5% hike for the Charger, compared with like-2011.
The auto maker’s total car sales climbed 137% to 28,832. However, truck demand also was strong, increasing 24.4% to 71,780 units.
Star performers included the Dodge Durango fullsize SUV with 3,021 deliveries, up 152% from January 2011, and the entire Jeep lineup, which accounted for 31,710 sales, a boost of 37.4%.
The lone disappointment was the Chrysler Town & Country minivan, the reigning leader in its segment according to the latest J.D. Power and Associates Initial Quality Study. Sales of the light truck plunged 14% to 5,637.